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CONNECT THE WORLD

Inside Raqqa; Oil Moves; Digging In; Catalan President Says Madrid Avoiding Dialogue; Controversial Phone Call; Hurricane Relief Efforts Slow In Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico's Struggle To Recover From Storm; Government Working To Fully Secure Kirkuk's Oil; Toni Braxton Reflects On Her Career; White House Adoration . Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 19, 2017 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:00:13] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is and one of the main squares in Raqqa and it was here where ISIS will carry out a public beheading of

execution.

BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: The capital of the Caliphate to a ghost town, CNN take you inside Raqqa, see what is left. And what is next

to the Syria city. Stand by for some remarkable exclusive images on the ground in the next few minutes. From there a busy news hour, this hour

also had energy power play Baghdad makes move to take control of the oil in the north of the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Didn't say what the congresswoman said, didn't say it at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Digging in controversial comments he said he never made the U.S. president refuses back down even at the backlash intensified. Just off the

7:00 in the evening here very warm welcome this is Connect the World, I am Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for you. We never begun a show like this, no

one ever has. Wherever you are hold on tight, because we are going to take you, really take you, to was just days ago ISIS's headquarters in Raqqa I

Syria. The first person hair on the back of your neck standing up look at the bone-shaking battle to take it from them. Viewers you are the first

people to see this, you can't see this anywhere else, this is only on CNN. Enough talk, have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNSHOTS)

(U.S. FOOTAGE OF THE BATTLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Makeshift bridges, to crawl between buildings, explosions shaking everything in sight. So shattered it smashed on remnants clink on

their every heavy armed footsteps. We will get you on the ground there right now. CNN's award-winning reporter Arwa Damon bringing you our first

ever live broadcast from the cities. You can imagine it is really tricky, we can't get to it live right now, for now, here is the report, she sent in

just a few hours ago. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The destruction is so vast, it's so widespread it's hard to even begin to imagine just how

terrifying this must have been especially for the civilians that ISIS was continuing to hold hostage until the very last minute. You can't even see

traces of the life that was amid the rubble that is just how devastated the city has become and were still under very strict orders not to veer off the

main roads not to go down any of the alleyways, because of ongoing concerns that ISIS still may have explosives buried throughout the rubble.

Commanders we have spoken to described as being a multi-level battlefield there is a fighting that took place above the grounds and the fighting that

took placed underground with the vast intercut tunnel system that ISIS has dugout. This is one of the main squares in Raqqa where ISIS's horrors, its

brutal rain were on regular display. We saw some of the first images emerging from here of the ISIS public executions and the beheadings there

was some footage and photographs that showed heads that ISIS had placed on top of these spikes to ensure that the civilian population knew who was in

charge, knew what their fate would be if they dare to even disobey the ISIS rulers.

What we have here now can only be described as something of a surreal scene, Syrian democratic forces fighters took over this part of the city a

few days ago and now we have the women units that is here part of the celebration that is going to be starting fairly shortly.

[11:05:05] They are part of the Syrian democratic forces and we've been talking to some of the top leadership within the STF and they are telling

us that the enormous challenge of rebuilding the city of course is among their top priorities in the course is going to be incredibly difficult, but

what they say even more crucial, even more imperative, this stage is trying to rebuild the fabric of society and it is only, if they can succeeded that

will be able to ensure their entity like ISIS never reemerges in the city like Raqqa again. And that people of the city and so many others never

have to go through this again. Arwa Damon CNN Raqqa, Syria.

(END VIDEO)

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon on the ground for you. We started this out with these incredible exclusive images to CNN, over look inside what it takes to

kill ISIS. There is much more of that just ahead for you. It is truly gripping stuff, stay with us the entire hour. One short week the Kurds

help Congo one city that Raqqa be lost another they called their own, Kirkuk. That in itself is an urgent reminder of how battle against ISIS

isn't just about the retreat of the terror group, but about addressing the powder cake that could be left in their absence. Tensions in Kirkuk will

ramp up a little more when Iraq's prime minister, ban all armed groups there except for government security forces. Ben Wedeman with more from

the city on the edge.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They return in the morning, car after car of Kirkuk residents who fled the city with central

government forces and paramilitaries seized control earlier this week. They said it is safe to go back home. Now the situation is good, he

insists. There's nothing wrong. Units of the Iraqi Army federal police and the Iranian back popular mobilization unit have deployed around the

city, replacing Kurdish forces who pulled out seven in Monday morning. Among the shoppers, believes Kirkuk ancient city release the change was

swift and albeit by Iraqi standards relatively peaceful.

I was scared Sonat tell me. We were afraid to step outside that nothing happen, thank god. Kurdish veteran of the Iran-Iraq war looks on the

bright side. We are all Iraqi's he said. There's no difference between Arabs and Kurds, but always not well here five minute drive away and the

tuned is very different. People are afraid said (inaudible) the construction worker. He says he leave if he has the money. Some parts of

the city look almost normal others like this is usually busy market. This is pretty much dead. For a few years Iraqis put their differences behind

them and focused on the fight against ISIS, but now that ISIS has almost been defeated, those old differences are starting to resurface. By early

afternoon suddenly the road were once more jammed with people fleeing the city. Rumors spreading the Kurdish officials were being rounded up, the

clashes were about to erupt.

People are afraid of war says this man. And with the fear and anger U.S. which supported the Kurds in their war against ISIS that turned its back on

their desire for state of their own. United States bears responsibility for what is happening in Kirkuk, he tells me. As one conflict comes to an

end another loose large.

(END VIDEO)

ANDERSON: Ben is joining us now from the Kurdish stronghold of Erbil. What is the Iraqi government goal here, Ben?

WEDEMAN: I see we can tell you that there does seem to be an attempt by the Kurdish regional government and the government in Baghdad to lessen

tensions. Haider al-Abadi the Iraqi prime minister has offered dialogue with the Kurds in the north and the Kurdish regional government has

responded that they welcome the opportunity for some sort of discussion about the future of the Kurdish region so on that level things seem to be

or may go in a more positive direction the worry is of course that friction on the ground that could lead to clashes which could lead to something

worse than nobody can control. The Iraqi Prime Minister did order armed groups out of Kirkuk and he's referring of course not directly, but is

understood this is the popular mobilization units Asabi an Arabic, those paramilitaries that have been trained and to some extent armed by the

Iranians and they were really the biggest source of friction in Kirkuk.

[11:10:31] We were told today the situation is much calmer, but there are outlying areas villages and towns pretensions are still very high, Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben critics of the Kurdish leader Barzani had said that the recent referendum was a massive miscalculation, if indeed in the end as you

point out this calls for a dialogue on both sides surrounded by actual dialogue. Do you feel relatively optimistic about what is going on and we

heard from deeply from your report from both sides of all this argument as it were, talking about how they feel, what is the future for civilians in

that area?

WEDEMAN: that is a good question, it is not really a question civilians it's what civilians, because on the one hand, Kirkuk is a very ethnically

diverse city. More than 50 percent of the population is Kurdish and they obviously are concerned when they find themselves under the control of

Baghdad as opposed to (inaudible) or Erbil, the main power centers in Kurdistan on the other hand there are significant Turk command and Arab

Shiite and Sunni and also Christian minorities in the city, who didn't necessarily feel comfortable under Kurdish rule. So in the event that an

outright clash can be avoided obviously that will be met with relief by all, but the question is how do we go forward establishing some sort of

form of government in Kirkuk that is acceptable to all sides now that's going to be hopefully optimistically worked out between Kurdish leaders and

the government in Baghdad and what we see after several days of fairly high tension is the beginning of hence of the possibility of a peaceful

resolution.

The Americans have prior to 25 of September referendum on Kurdish independence they did offer to mediate between Kurdish leaders and the

government in Baghdad perhaps and that the time the Kurdish leaders said no were going ahead with the referendum. Now they may have seen that wasn't

necessary the wisest course of action and there could be an opening, but as I said little sparks can cause big fires if negotiated settlement isn't

reached, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. All right Secretary of State Tillerson at least in the Middle East region in the next few weeks. Let see whether that department

can do anything to help. All right Ben thank you. Ben Wedeman on the ground for you.

This is CNN let see some of the other stories, we got on the radar for you. China says, it will never pursue its own development of the extent of other

countries and that it'll never give up when he calls it legitimate rights. It is a response to speech given by the U.S. secretary of state on

Wednesday. Rex Tillerson, when he criticized Beijing for subverting quote sovereignty of its neighbors referring to disputed areas of the South China

Sea. Quebec law makers had pass a bill that restricts facial covering in public. Primarily applies to public work as a citizens and even government

services. Critics says, stigmatizes Muslim women who wear Burqa and cobs while supported argue it doesn't specifically target religious symbol and

will also apply to mass protests.

British Prime Minister Teresa May is calling for urgency in reaching a deal as Brexit talks reach a stands still. E.U. leaders are in Brussels, E.U. a

council summit had planned to discuss the Brexit protest moving forward. Will turn to another headache the E.U. leaders, the Spanish government is

set to assert direct rule as the Catalonia, says the Catalan leader refuse to clarify whether the region had indeed declared independence. The

statement by the Spanish government says it will trigger article 155 of the Constitution which gives the Spanish government the power to enforce the

laws in autonomous regions by any measures necessary. For more, let's bring in our Erin McLaughlin she was recently on the ground in Catalonia

following this story for you today from London, Erin.

[11:15:22] ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Becky and really unclear what all this means for people there in Catalonia article 155 the Spanish

Constitution had never been invoked. It is extremely they could give Madrid the powers to do everything from calls snap election or to take control of

Catalan government buildings. A range of measures likely to be discuss in an extraordinary cabinet meeting scheduled in Madrid for Saturday. A

government minister is expected to go over options one once they come up with a list of options then I'll send it over to the senate, where the

senate prime minister his party has a majority, so whatever they send over a is expected to pass. In terms of Catalan president Carles Puigdemont

next steps will end his letter to the Spanish prime minister earlier today he raised the possibility of formally declaring independence, saying quote,

if the government continues to avoid dialogue and continues with the repression, the Catalan Parliament could proceed to believe is right to

vote for a formal declaration of independence that wasn't voted on October 10.

So now we are in a situation where these two sides are not talking there is no dialogue taking place one moving towards exerting direct rule over

Catalonia, the other moving toward a formal declaration of independence, where all of this ends, anyone is guessing at this point, Becky.

ANDERSON: Erin McLaughlin thank you. Up next it was a phone called made to conveyed nations deepest condolences. Since that has become the center

of a political start. What did Donald Trump say to the widow of a fallen soldier? We'll hear both sides of the story up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: the president's call as accounted by multiple people in the room believed that

the president was completely respectful very sympathetic and express condolences of himself and the rest of the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: that is the White House version of the phone call that is Donald Trump on the defensive. The U.S. president once again is on ugly feud

involving a gold star family, who lost a love one to war and a call to a soldier's widow. Mr. Trump offered his condolences referring to him as

your guide. Joe Johns reports. That wasn't the only thing that upset the grieving family and a Congresswoman who heard the call.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:20:13] TRUMP: Didn't say what that congresswoman said, she didn't say it all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump defending his conversation with the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Had a very nice conversation with the woman with the wife, who was sounded like a lovely woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Insisting Democratic Congress woman Frederica Wilson fabricated her account of what he said and vowed she has proof.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP FREDERICA WILSON, (R) FLORIDA: I did hear him say, I'm sure he know what he was signing up for and but it still hurts. She was crying, she

broke down and she said, he didn't even know his name.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Wilson standing firm with Sergeant Johnson's grieving mother backing the story telling the Washington Post the president disrespected

her son. The White House press secretary admitting the president did not record the call and stopping short of denying the president words. But

said the chief of staff John Kelly was with the president when he called the widow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABEE SANDERS: He thought that the president did the best job he could under those circumstances to offer condolences on behalf of the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Sanders then said Kelly is disgusted by the way the media politicize the (inaudible). But it was President Trump who falsely claimed

that President Obama did not call the families of fallen soldiers and then use the death of his chief of staff son to try to bolster the argument.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Mr. Trump has his own ways of dealing with things. I see is as inconsistent with what his predecessors had done and

how they treated it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Multiple White House officials tells CNN that Kelly did tell Mr. Trump, President Obama never called him after his son died. Kelly was

caught off guard by the president using the information publicly, the controversy growing after Mr. Trump insisted he called all of the families

of soldiers killed during his presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: My policy is I've called every one of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: But the widow of army Sergeant Jonathan Hunter killed in August in Afghanistan says, she never heard from the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't like that I was told I would receive a phone call, but I never did. My husband died for our country and I don't want to

have been in vain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Other gold star family like the mother of army Corporal Dylan Burridge offering a positive account of her call of the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was again very genuinely thankful for my son and his service. I didn't feel like it was force or scripted or something that

he felt he had to do. It was just like talking to a friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: The Washington Post reports President Trump offered $25,000 to his father after his son was killed in June, but the money never came. The

White House said it mailed the check on Wednesday only after the story was published.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

ANDERSON: Let's get the very latest from Washington we are join by White House reporter Stephen Collinson, Steve you latest article on the CNN

politics. If you haven't check that's site you absolutely must, it is full of great stuff including these article you say the chain of events and how

the president walks a rhetorical tightrope every time he speaks and underlines, how Trump's outspoken bluff and relish the confrontation that

was so successful on the campaign trail, threatens to undermine his hopes for a successful presidency. Look Stephen some might argue, it was

(inaudible) and bluster and relish, to confrontation was made a success, still particularly with his base.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That is true and a lot of Trump's most loyal supporters would still argue that. What I'm trying

to say here though that this whole episode would never happen had the president if you have turned his cheek in that press conference on Monday

when he was asked for information about this Niger attack, had he not, then go on to attack Barack Obama and George W. Bush for being so less attentive

to the needs of grieving relatives of those killed America's wars and he was in it was a case when he was in look like that he felt that he was

being personally attacked and he reacts viscerally to that at any sort of ignites consequences, but didn't need to happen. Now he spans directly

from not issue regarding this whole ugly feud as you call it between the president and the family members of soldiers that were killed America's

war.

If you think about it is an incredible situation to be and I think it shows us a lot about the polarization and the better nature of American politics

right now. Trumps critics very ready to believe anything that puts the president to the bad light as the Congresswoman's reports of these calls

do. And the White House is actually furious of what they say is the media politicizing and twisting this issue to make Trump look bad.

[11:25:12] ANDERSON: It was inevitable that questions would mount about the Niger operation given the administration's residence to speak about the

table for the ambitious that point in this article, but you say the situation was made infinitely worst with a bristling onset to or was a not

que as question and I guess from the Trump administrations side they would post it that not everything and not all are innocuous question, they are

loaded questions from the press mainstream press they say which is simply acting as the opposition perhaps, they believe that there is any other

opposition and were out now you Democrats say this days, do they report, is the mainstream media in America with this administration simply playing the

opposition at this point?

COLLINS: I think there is definitely sense from the White House and from supporters about that, but it's a reflex the White House goes to every time

there is any criticism about anything. This question in particular was simply asking what happened in that raid and why it took Trump 12 days to

speak publicly about it, which I think is a legitimate question and it does raise the issue of whether the White House was hypersensitive about that,

because there's something about this way that we don't know I think that's where the story is going to go in the next few days. Less about how Trump

spoke to the relatives of the victims of that raid, but questions are now being asked about why these soldiers didn't have more backup, whether there

was poor intelligence, after the face an unexpected attack by ISIS, affiliated militants in Niger. Why they, why one of the soldiers La David

Johnson was left for 48 hours, they couldn't find his body for 48 hours and questions about whether you -- why he got separated from his comrades, so

this is becoming a great political problem, I think we will get a Pentagon briefing later today.

We may get some more details about this, but there is a sudden sense, not just among the media by certainly on Capitol Hill, even Senator John McCain

Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has said the White House is not being forthcoming are exactly what happened and I think

that's be driving a lot of the questions about this in the coming days.

ANDERSON: Stephen Collinson in the house. You are in Washington as I mentioned a moment ago. You will a lot more with Stephen keen analysis and

insight online, use the website will see why he said Donald Trump reacts and a crisis is born. That more from our political team, scratching stuff

at cnn.com.

Now remember when America invaded Iraq and it was busted, accused of going for the oil, well talked about full circle because some may accuse Iraq of

invading itself. Stay control of its own crude, confused? John Defterios is in the house to break it down for you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:30:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, if you are just joining us, you are more than welcome. It is half past 7:00 in the UAE. I'm Becky

Anderson. This is Connect the World. The top stories for you this hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: U.S.-backed forces are scouring the former ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria clearing up bombs and booby-traps. Residents who want to

return are being urged to say away a bit longer, so that any ISIS sleeper cells can be destroyed.

Well, tension is high in the Iraqi city f Kirkuk after the prime minister banned all armed groups except for government security forces. Iraqi

forces drove Peshmerga fighters earlier this week.

The White House says President Donald Trump was not disrespectful to the widow of fallen soldier. In a condolence phone call, he acknowledges he

did refer to soldier as your guy but says that doesn't mean Mr. Trump didn't know his name.

Spain says it will move forward with suspending Catalonia's autonomy and Madrid's announcement came minutes after the Catalan president, and in a

formal declaration of independence that the Spanish government does not take part in talks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, a month ago, hurricane Maria barreled into Puerto Rico, almost destroying the island. Well many are working hard to get the island

back to normal and Governor Ricardo Rossello will be speaking to the U.S. President Donald Trump later today.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is visiting many of the communities struggling to survive. She has been on the ground literally since the storm struck. She

has the very latest for you now from San Juan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One month later, we are seeing more FEMA aid moving or helicopters in the sky, trucks that are distributing

supplies to all parts of the island.

But still, the majority without power, many without clean water. You take your cell phone outside of San Juan and you'll quickly read no service.

It's like a new normal for Puerto Ricans on the island.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I live...

SANTIAGO (voice-over): He's been cleaning for a month. Not much seems to have changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it's like -- it's like it was yesterday.

SANTIAGO: Angel St. Kitts lives in Humacao, the eastern coast of the island where the sea rushed in and Maria left little behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're suffering because we don't have electricity.

SANTIAGO (on camera): One month later, there were still people gathered at the church, hoping to get supplies that come in here in this area.

And their lives are on display, on the sidewalks, you can see furniture, you can see paintings, even a Christmas stand down here. This home doesn't

have part of its roof. There is no cell service here. Nobody has power, and food and water are limited.

(voice-over): A month we've been here, we've seen and felt Maria's terrifying force, and in the aftermath, dramatic rescues, desperation, on

the ground and through the mud. We've been the first to reach communities cut off by the storm.

Despite President Donald Trump's visit and his own rave reviews of the recovery, more than 80 percent still don't have power. About 40 percent of

the cell towers remain down and roughly a third, no running water.

Banks that are open have lines that can be hours long. More than 100 bridges damaged, 18 closed until further notice, cutting off entire

communities. Rebecca Rodriguez tells us her family's bakery has been here for decades.

(on camera): Yes, this is how high the water came, which is at least four feet.

(voice-over): The only light here comes from our camera.

(on camera): What once smelled of fresh bread is really now smells like something's rotting in here. And she's upset because none of this will be

covered, according to her insurance.

(voice-over): Every day brings uncertainty.

(on camera): Of all the things you had in here, this is...

[11:35:00] ANGEL ST. KITTS, RESIDENT, PUERTO RICO: This is what I've been able to save, because the mattress I threw it out. The bed, I threw it

out. The chairs...

SANTIAGO: This isn't much.

ST. KITTS: No. But what can we do?

SANTIAGO (voice-over): As time passes...

(on camera): These are all your watches.

ST. KITTS: My watches are all wet.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Disaster has become a way of life, as if Maria never left.

ST. KITTS: It's a mess.

SANTIAGO (on camera): And when you ask people on the island how long it will take to recover, how long will it take to get to a sense of normalcy

like pre-Maria, they will tell you this is not a matter of months. This is likely now a matter of years. Leyla Santiago, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Bill Weir is also in Puerto Rico traveling to the remote areas of the island and one day he met a U.S. emergency officially

who promise that residence will be abandoned. And later, he saw these sings of progress. Have a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don't you use National Guardsmen in two-week rotations to come in? Are you begging your bosses for more men?

JUSTO HERNANDEZ, DEPUTY FEDERAL COORDINATING OFFICER: No, I'm not.

WEIR: Why?

HERNANDEZ: Because we have 4,500 National Guardsmen coming in.

WEIR: But just as a point of comparison. Two weeks after the Haiti quake, the U.S. had 22,000 troops on the ground in a foreign country.

HERNANDEZ: I don't know how much more we can bring without actually impacting the economy of Puerto Rico. If I keep flooding the place with

food and water, when is it that they knock neighbors (ph), are going to open their supermarkets?

WEIR: Isn't it true that FEMA had a presence in New Orleans for like seven years, right? People were living in FEMA trailers for years.

HERNANDEZ: We were in New Orleans just two years ago and we left 5,000 mobile homes there.

WEIR: Right.

HERNANDEZ: And we were there for seven or eight months, responding there and we're in Florida. And we're in Harvey. And we're going to be in

Puerto Rico and now, we are in Virgin Islands also, for as long as it takes.

WEIR: For as long as it takes?

HERNANDEZ: For as long as it takes.

WEIR: Despite what the president says?

HERNANDEZ: You know what? We don't follow -- I don't see TV. So, I don't -- I don't even pay attention to them. I pay attention to the mission that

I have in my heart, which is fixing Puerto Rico.

WEIR: In just a few hours, we've been out shooting, an amazing development here at this abandoned airport, the Air National Guard out of Tennessee and

Kentucky has arrived and are militarizing this airport.

They tell me off camera they have got 500 guys, more are coming. They have been sitting at home for two weeks chomping at the bit to come, but there

are so many layers of bureaucratic red tape. They just couldn't pull the trigger.

But the good news is, they are here now. They've got supplies and they're going to start pushing them into the mountains as soon as they possibly

can.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: CNN on the ground for you, some important news there. Well that's what our top stories this hour and indeed this week. And when we

are exploring from all angles, the Iraqi city of Kirkuk is not just being force on political or ethnic violence but also, economic ones.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So let's follow the money for you. Iraq is working to fully secure all of the city's oil fields which are a huge part of course of the

economy. Iraq's oil minister says that other countries and companies must go by the government if they want to strike deals.

Well, John Defterios is here in Abu Dhabi with more. A pretty bold foul play by Baghdad who say they are only taking back what's theirs. John.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, that depends how you see it. Of course of the Kurdish regional government wouldn't agree with

that but its amazing because only a week after securing those very large fields in Kirkuk.

Now the oil minister taking the course to cue from Prime Minister, Mr. al- Abadi is suggesting if you decide to sign contracts anywhere within Iraq, the geographical boundaries will do so as a peril.

Let's take a look at the exact statement from Jabbar Al-Luaibi to the energy minister or oil minister of Iraq. They have interview in the past

quite viciously to say their intension to sign oil contracts.

Talking about the majors here with any authority inside the geographic borders of Iraq without telling the federal government or the ministry of

oil and get this, Becky, it is considered as a blatant interference in the internal affairs of Iraq. Now that is very strong language.

Now just to get some context for our viewers tonight, Iraq sits on about 153 billion barrels of crude. The numbers has been going up. About a

third of that is said to be in the Kurdish region about 45 billion barrels.

ANDERSON: How does that compare to the rest of the world? I mean what are we talking about?

DEFTERIOS: Iraq is in the top three depending on the point of measure...

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: Big, big numbers, isn't it?

DEFTERIOS: Yes, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, then Iraq.

ANDERSON: Got it.

DEFTERIOS: It went 53 right next to Iran. Forty-five billion barrels in the Kurdish region hasn't been the bounty everybody expected. So far, they

produce about 235,000 barrels a day. The reason Kirkuk is so important, it's over half a million barrels a day of production.

This raises another question going forward and that is Iraq has worked for years to have a settlement with Kurdish regional government, our revenue

share which was about 17 percent of whatever the Kurdish region produce.

From the language I'm seeing here, I don't want to take a quantum leap but it sound like they're suggesting that could be torn up and everything is

going to have to go to Baghdad in the future. It's early days but the point of negotiation of course, Becky.

[11:40:00] That they struggle to get that revenue share over a decade.

ANDERSON: I'm ready just to get you sense of what Baghdad's master plan here is, and what happens to those who have already invested in the oil

industry there?

DEFTERIOS: It's a great question because it's like the United Nations of the oil players up in the North. I'm glad you asked me like -- they were

just looking in the last hour. Well, I know the other majors have been up there, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, in gas prompt.

We have players from Austria, all the way to the United Arab Emirates that have been taking the punt on the Kurdish regional government and sustain to

those contracts.

So the state dent that (Inaudible) was putting out tonight was suggesting, if you don't clear it with the federal government, don't think that the

contract will withstand the test of time.

The ideas of geographical boundaries of Iraq now are back into play. They have not given them that autonomous play going forward. And I think we

have to keep a very close eye on this. Does it also include the contracts of the past?

What happens to those contracts that have been signed going in the past? The statement today was talking about the present and going forward. I

think that's the big question mark by now.

ANDERSON: John, just remind us, as we won this conversation. Post 2000 -- how much the American's get involved in the oil industry in Iraq -- in the

boundaries of Iraq as they were?

DEFTERIOS: Iraq is the number two produce in OPEC today. About 4.4 million barrels a day, not surprisingly they went to the south first. So

all those fields around Batzra (ph), the American players are down there, also the European players like Shell, which is having disputes now whether

to stay in.

The Russians are big players. But controversially, three years ago, ExxonMobil and Chevron decided to go to the north against the wishes of

Baghdad and again, there's a big question mark going forward.

What Baghdad now wants all clearance and all contracts going forward. Again, we have to put in the context, this is a bargaining play and I'm

sure it's a bargaining play over the revenue structure today, and also contracts with the future. We're not too clear about contracts of the

past.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you, John. Live from Abu Dhabi, you are watching Connect the World. Coming up...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONI BRAXTON, AMERICAN SINGER-SONGWRITER: There maybe some things of any president that you may have issues with. I have not too happy about but I

have to respect that he is our president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Toni Braxton on Trump troubles and triumph. We're going to hear from the RNB singer, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Quarter to 8:00 in UAE. I'm Becky Anderson and welcome back. Now, it was almost 21 years ago to the day that Toni Braxton releases the

song Un-Break My Heart making her a household name around the world. Well today at 50, she is a seven-time Grammy winner.

[11:45:00] I sat down with here her in Dubai to talk about personal success, private tribulations and of course, politics in America today.

Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRAXTON: Un-break my heart, say you'll love me again.

ANDERSON (voice-over): One of the most iconic voices of RNB, Toni Braxton known for a love ballad with over 67 million records sold for a career that

spans decades.

Her career defining here to Un-Break My Heart tops the Billboard Chart for 11 weeks. Braxton's life of course hasn't just being another sad love

song. She survived multiple bankruptcies, divorce and major health scare that almost ruin her career.

But she picked up the pieces and learn to breathe again. Now having just turned 50, Braxton is back with new music and in some ways, a new voice.

BRAXTON: We will always love our president.

ANDERSON (voice-over): I sat down with the seven-time Grammy winner before she took to the stage here in Dubai. Often when discussing the elite pack

of divas who ruled the 90's and early 90's, Toni Braxton is cast aside. This shouldn't the case. There's way more to her story than Un-Break My

Heart.

(on camera): Do you ever feel that you didn't or are not getting the recognition that you deserve?

BRAXTON: I've heard people talk about it. I don't look at it like that. I think what happen with -- for me, a big, big -- I hate to say slice was

taken out.

This is right after Un-Break My Heart. So how dare a bankruptcy happen or she had a financial problems? She is a huge star at the moment and I think

that's what took the flight out of it.

ANDERSON: I think it was Forbes.com that listed your contract or your deal as one of the worst deal in the history.

BRAXTON: It could have may not be true but I think what now have one of the better one. I mean my situation changed my life and I was very

fortunate that in my case, I won in my case, and I got rewarded a very conflict and comfortable song.

ANDERSON: You were a youngster.

BRAXTON: Very young.

ANDERSON: Will you take it in form of a job. Will it be a new era -- Harvey Weinstein hitting headlines about his behavior.

BRAXTON: I don't like to say taken advantage of because I think whatever you get into a new career -- I mean you have to prove yourself and I think

my situation changed a lot of things from a lot of artist would be surprised.

My case went to Congress saying that just because files bankruptcy doesn't mean all their contracts are null and void except for the recording

contract.

So I changed history and so I feel good about it, like in the pioneer. That's ok that it slice something out of the cake. I never thought that I

will get paid to do it, I just wanted to perform. I just want to sing.

ANDERSON: You were going to retire?

BRAXTON: I was going to do it and a dear friend mine, he called me up and said, (Inaudible) was retiring? And he said I'll tell you what, let's do a

project together and I was going through a divorce, I met her in a bar.

And we do this project and manage the divorce and we're very fortunate we won a Grammy from that. From than situation, he said OK now, go soar.

Spread your wings and do it again. Do it for me again.

My new album is called Sex and Cigarettes that will February 2018 and my newest single is called Deadwood. It's a sad love song and I think my boy

is kind of narrates the lyrics. He does a little of -- my boy says I can milk shakes with a little bit of badness in a little bit.

ANDERSON: You've got lupus.

BRAXTON: I have lupus.

ANDERSON: For those who don't know what that is, can you just explain?

BRAXTON: My lupus was in my heart. Meaning it attacks my heart a lot. At first they told me that I needed a heart transplant but fortunately I

didn't need that.

It effect my blood and it's going to be blood cloths, for me a chronic fatigue sometimes is hard to get myself out of bed and I educate myself on

my illness, and know when to pace my self and that's an important thing for me.

ANDERSON: Your son has autism.

BRAXTON: I mean he was diagnosed when he was three-years-old. He's 14 now. He works for kids who are autistic and he helps them and he said,

mommy, I think I found -- my calling is my health to get back.

ANDERSON: Just in time of your mistakes -- I know you don't want to get political but you're a...

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: ... in world of a Trump presidency, explain.

BRAXTON: Our president -- you know he has entertained us over the years.

[11:50:00] He has never stopped. I enjoyed watching him. We will always love our president and there may be some things of any president that you

may have issues with or have -- not too happy about that.

But I have to respect that he is our president, and mom always told us what goes on in the house, stays in our house. You don't talk about things

abroad. You don't tell the people your family business. So he's our family business.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Toni Braxton, isn't she amazing? More than an -- a survivor and belting out tonight in Dubai in front of a huge audience. You are watching

that in Abu Dhabi tonight. This is Connect the World. Coming up, the U.S. vice president takes loyalty to new levels and new pressure to dissect that

on our own Jeanne Moos, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Loving looks and adoring gazes, they are the signs of commitment that you might expect from a spouse or a sweetheart. Here's Jeanne Moos on

our report for the way the U.S. vice president looks at his boss is -- well, have a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Very impressed.

(LAUGHTER)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Whether he is laughing at the boss' jokes or listening intently beside him, Vice President Mike Pence has perfected

the art of the gaze.

TRUMP: He likes action.

MOOS: The adoring gaze often accompanied by the nod -- nodding almost to the beat of the maestro's gestures.

TRUMP: Thousands of new American jobs.

MOOS: Want to the see the opposite of Pence's look? Look no further, the V.P.'s gaze is so loyal, so consistent but it's been compared with love

struck children's characters.

But there is one name that keeps popping up in descriptions of how Vice President Pence fixes his eyes upon the president. Actually, it's Nancy

Reagan eyes.

Remember how she use to stare lovingly at her husband. The New Yorker describes Pence mustering a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of

Nancy Reagan, a business correspondent took in a step further tweeting, my Pence with Trump makes that Nancy Reagan gaze at Ronnie, look like snark

face.

In the wake of the current first lady, not always looking so enthralled someone commented, Trump wishes that Melania would gaze at him like that.

But a worshipful stare seems wasted when the president forgets you're there.

TRUMP: I want to thank Mike Pence...

MOOS: A Republican media consultant tweeted wistfully, I want someone to look at me just once in my life the way Mike Pence looks at Trump. But

president picked Pence as his political dance partner. Now Pence has to do it his way. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: You can follow stories that we are working on throughout the day from political bromance month in the U.S. to a case of India here in the

UAE.

[11:55:00] It's Diwali (ph) of course, by going to out Facebook page, Facebook.com/CNNconnect. Well Mike Pence isn't alone in liking Donald

Trump. Donald Trump also really digs Donald Trump, he alone -- as he tells that almost single-handedly taking ISIS down.

Well, no, it's the day-in, day-out, every day but extraordinary bravery of the people fighting to destroy it, who did it, Donald Trump. Images of

that remarkable struggle are being captured by journalist Gabrielle Chan. I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. To end out week, we live

you with this video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Foreign Language)

(GUN SHOTS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

END